International Staff Members

Outline of Terms of Services for International Staff Members

This is a summary of the principal conditions of service at ESO, according to the International Staff Rules and Regulations and other official announcements


Human Resources
1 January 2015

N.B. This outline is for general information only and has no legally binding value.

The EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY has establishments which are located in:

Germany: Garching

Chile: La Silla, Paranal, Santiago, Antofagasta, Sequitor, OSF

1. Duration of appointment

The contract is for a fixed-term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. The contract will therefore cease after three years.

An extension is possible only under certain conditions and in accordance with the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations.

For operational need, Staff members may be requested to agree to a transfer of duty station.

2. Basic salaries

Initial job grading is determined in relation to a candidate's qualifications and experience.

The remuneration of International Staff Members with duty station in Chile is adjusted monthly according to the cost of living differential between Santiago de Chile and the lead town Munich.

3. Allowances

  • Family allowances:
    • Household allowance for members of the personnel who are married or who are entitled to children's allowance: EURO 188,90 per month.
    • Children's allowance for each dependant child: EURO 283,35 per month plus a supplement of EURO 79,60 for expatriated children up to the age of 4 years at the latest if no education grant is paid.

    • Education grant for children: ESO reimburses 75 % of school fees, subject to certain conditions and with certain maxima.

    • Expatriation allowance is payable under certain circumstances. In Chile, the rates vary according to the areas of residence.

  • Area of Residence

    Receiving Household Allowance*

    Not receiving household allowance*




    La Serena / Antofagasta






    * of basic salary with min. grade 7, step 5

    Beginning from the time of granting an indefinite contract and three years of residence, the expatriation allowance shall be reduced pro equal rata over 12 years until it reaches the minimum rates set out in the Staff Rules and Regulations.

  • Mountain allowance. Applicable to staff members with duty station La Silla, Paranal, Sequitor, OSF.

Receiving household allowance: 20 % of basic salary

Not receiving household allowance: 10 % of basic salary

The amount of the mountain allowance corresponds to the regular working time which is spent on the mountain, and is adjusted according to actual time spent on the mountain.

4. Joining expenses

Newly appointed staff residing more than 50 km from duty station before their appointment are paid travel expenses for themselves and their families, removal expenses and an installation allowance. Additional information on the importation of household goods (personal effects, cars, etc.) and rent allowance, can be obtained at Human Resources.

5. Pension Scheme

The scheme incorporates pension and insurance provisions for death, disability and industrial injury in which all staff members are compulsorily insured. The contributions for international staff members amount to 12,64 % of the reference salary.

6. Health Insurance Scheme

The scheme provides for insurance of the staff member and her/his dependent family members against medical expenses. The contributions (presently 3,25 %) are subject to annual adjustments.

7. Long Term Care Insurance Scheme

The scheme provides financial support to the staff member (including her/his dependent family members) in need of assistance over an extended period of time due to an impairment of their ability to function independently in daily life. The monthly premium rate amounts to 0,32 % of basic salary shared between ESO and employee on a 50:50 basis up to a maximum monthly contribution from ESO of 0,25 % of grade 7 step 13 basic salary.

8. Unemployment Insurance

Staff Members are entitled to unemployment insurance benefits if they are without employment immediately after their appointments terminate, subject to certain conditions and within certain maxima.

9. Salary during sickness

A Staff Member's salary continues to be paid during absences due to sickness, with certain limits.

10. Hours of work

The basic work schedule is 40 hours a week. Hours of work and working schedule may vary according to the duty station.

11. Leave

Annual leave entitlement is of 2 1/2 working days per month. Once every two years an expatriate staff member is entitled to a home leave return trip to his home station. ESO pays the expenses of the journey for the staff member and his family under certain conditions.

9. Other information

For additional information, you may contact:

Human Resources
Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2
85748 Garching b. München / Germany
+49 89 320 06 217


Human Resources
Av. Alonso de Cordova 3107, comuna de Vitacura
Santiago, Chile
Phone: +56 2 4633000

ESO Recruitment Portal